BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey team returns to Sanford Center this weekend as it welcomes Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival University of Wisconsin. Bemidji State opened conference play last weekend at The Ohio State University and dropped the contests to the Buckeyes by scores of 5-1 and 1-0. Despite the losses, Bemidji State is still off to the best start in program history (4-2-0).
Scouting the Beavers
The Beavers have received scoring from 17 different skaters this season. Leading the way is Megan Lushanko with five points (2g, 3a), while Stephanie Anderson, Kaitlyn Tougas and Ivana Bilic each have four points.
Bemidji State has split its goaltending duties between Brittni Mowat and Erin Deters this season. Mowat, an All-WCHA Rookie Team honoree last season, is 2-1-0 with a 2.33 goals against average and .910 save percentage. Deters also has 2-1-0 record and ranks second nationally with a 0.67 goals against average and .971 save percentage. Due to the play of these two netminders and the rest of its defensive corps, BSU currently ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 1.50 goals per game.
Wisconsin comes into the weekend leading the nation in goals scored with 32. Senior Karley Sylvester leads the nation in scoring with 13 points (4g, 9a), while Annie Pankowski is the top-scoring freshman in the country with 11 points (1g, 10 assists).
The Badgers are also stellar defensively as they are fifth nationally allowing 1.25 goals per game. Backstopping Wisconsin’s defense is Ann-Renée Desbiens. Desbiens was the league’s goaltending champion last season and has picked up where she left off in 2014-15. The La Malbaie, Quebec native is 4-2-0 with a 1.48 goals against average and .938 save percentage.
Bemidji State dropped both of its games against Ohio State last weekend by scores of 5-1 and 1-0.
The losses stopped a four-game winning streak for the Beavers, which tied a program record. The 1-0 loss was the first time Bemidji State has been shutout since February 7, 2014 at Minnesota (10-0).BSU drops to 20-33-11 all-time against the Buckeyes.
Penalty Killing Prowess
The Beavers continue to be strong on the penalty kill as OSU went 1-for-6 with the man advantage in the series. BSU currently ranks fourth in the WCHA in penalty killing percentage (24/27, 88.9 percent).
Despite allowing six goals in the two games, Bemidji State still ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense (1.50 goals against per game).
Thibodeau tacks on another
Freshman Summer Thibodeau scored Bemidji State’s lone goal versus OSU. Thibodeau has skated in two games this season and has scored a goal in each contest.
Ciscely Nelson provided an assist on Thibodeau’s goal. It was Nelson’s second helper of the season and her career.
Fellow freshman Erin Deters made 24 saves while allowing just one goal in Saturday’s loss to OSU. In three games this season, Deters is 2-1-0 with a 0.67 goals against average and .971 save percentage. The latter two marks both rank second nationally.
Starting Well for Scanlan
Despite the pair of losses last weekend, Head Coach Jim Scanlan still has Bemidji State off to the best six-game start in program history at 4-2-0.
Home sweet home
The Beavers return home to the Sanford Center, where they are undefeated this season (2-0-0). BSU is 3-1-0 in its last four games in its home arena.
Series history vs. Wisconsin
Bemidji State and Wisconsin have met every season since the WCHA came into existence for the 1999-00 season. Wisconsin is 53-4-3 all-time against Bemidji State, which includes four victories last season. The Beavers last defeated the Badgers Oct. 9, 2012 in Madison, Wis.
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUWHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).